Light Harvest at CODA Paper Art 2017

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CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

This summer I was invited to partcipate in an international paper art biennial at CODA museum in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. I exhibited Light Harvest, a large interactive intallation art that is inspired by the intriguing protein structures of Light-havesting Complexes (LHC). LHC contains pigments that abort light and transfer the solar energy to chemical energy.

Three large crates,  about 37.5″ D x 22.5″ H x 73″ L, and one small crate, about 28.5″ D x 19″ L x 33.5″ H, were shipped from Bloomington, Indiana, to Apeldoorn, Netherlands, in early May before my team and I arrived in Apeldoorn in late May. We rented a small airbnb house near the museum for 4 days and were able to walk to the museum to work everyday. It was a really fun experience. On the first day the museum staff helped us set up the ceiling canopy in the exhibiton space. On the second and the third day, we worked on the paper structure installation and the technology set up. On the fourth day, we worked on the projection mapping.

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After we arrived in Apeldoorn, Kyle Overton and I decided that we would try a new way of coding in Processing to produce a different interactive experience than the previous installation at the Grunwald Gallery. As the result, Kyle spent most of the four days writing 1500 lines of the codes! The Processing outputs a smooth gradation of cool blue and green hues, to be projection-mapped onto the folded Light Harvest protein structure.  The green and blue gradation of light, projected from three projectors, mimics the deep water in which certain photosynthetic algae with certain class of phycobilin pigments live. Each pigment, contained within LHC, has an unique absorption specturm, allowing it to absorb cetain wavelengths of light. This particular algae, appearing to be red, is able to carry out photosyntheiss in deep water where the wavelenghts of blue-green lights are most abundant by aborbing blue-green and reflecting red! When viewers enter the exhibition floor and interact with each chain of Light Harvest, the chain will turn into red-orange color. The interaction means to let the viewers know that photosyntheiss is in action!

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Entering the Light Harvest exhibition area, CODA museum, Apeldoorn, Netherland
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Installation showing one of the protein chains changing from cool blue-green to warm red-orange, CODA museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands